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Even though we're nearing platform stability, Android 12's latest beta still has a lot of new features to offer. Among them is a new way to access and empty your trash, previously only available through the pre-installed Files app. You can access your trash files via the Storage section in system settings now.
The new trash shortcut lives right among the other entries in the storage overview. When you tap it, you're taken straight to the Files app, where you can select one or multiple items to restore or delete. The trash option is still also accessible through the hamburger menu in the Files app itself.
Left & Middle: Storage gives you access to the trash in Files. Right: Also accessible via the Files app itself.
We previously suspected that Google would add a trash section to system settings thanks to a leak back in April. Back then, it looked like you'd only be able to empty the trash when hitting the icon, but luckily, Google has opted to give you full access to everything you've deleted through the Files app instead.
It's unclear if the trash visible in Files is really all the trash that's stored on your device, though. We previously covered the introduction of the trash section in June, and back then, it looked like its trash only consists of items deleted through the Files app. This could be problematic, as other apps can opt to move deleted files in a separate system-wide trash folder since Android 11. Items in it are held on to for 30 days before they're deleted indefinitely, and so far, there's no easy way to manage this folder.
For more about Android 12, check out our ongoing series coverage here, or bookmark our regularly updated changelog and check back in later. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.